Total investment of some 550 million euros: Bosch to build new semiconductor fab in Reutlingen,
June 14, 2006
Roughly 800 jobs for Bosch associates
· New fab to commence production in mid-2009
· Boost for Automotive Electronics division
Stuttgart/Reutlingen – The Bosch Group is investing some 550 million euros in the construction of a new manufacturing facility for 200 millimeter (eight-inch) semiconductors at its site in Reutlingen, near Stuttgart. Construction of the facility is to begin in the autumn of 2007. Rollout of production is planned for mid-2009. The plant will have a total capacity of up to 1,000 silicon wafers per day, equivalent to a daily production volume of up to one million microchips. “In investing heavily in state-of-the-art manufacturing technology, we are securing the long-term future of our international automotive electronics business,” said Franz Fehrenbach, chairman of the Bosch Board of Management. Bosch has been manufacturing 150-millimeter (six-inch) semiconductors in Reutlingen for ten years now. The location can therefore draw on a wealth of expertise and has a good infrastructure.
Semiconductor and micromachined chips from Reutlingen are used above all in the automobile industry. As components in electronic control units, they form the “central nervous system” of many functions in the vehicle, including electronic safety systems such as ABS, ESP, or airbags, fuel-efficient and clean engines with electronic engine management, or modern driver assistance systems. On average, between 100 and 200 application-specific microchips are installed in a middle or luxury-class car. “We anticipate that the semiconductor market for automotive applications will grow by an average of ten percent per year in the medium term,” said Dr. Bernd Bohr, member of the Bosch Board of Management and Chairman of the Automotive Group. In addition, the company is opening up additional marketing channels, especially in consumer electronics, via its recently founded subsidiary Bosch Sensortec. In total, some 800 jobs will be created in the new 200-millimeter semiconductor manufacturing facility by 2012. The company will be able to cover most of its requirements for qualified personnel internally – drawing especially on associates from a nearby facility.
Reutlingen: precision technology, high volumes
The new 200-millimeter wafer fab in Reutlingen will mainly be geared to the “smart power process.” In this technology, integrated circuits combine on one chip highly sensitive signal processing and high-voltage circuits for the control of high-performance actuators. These chips have to work reliably even under the especially tough thermal and mechanical loads experienced during automobile operation. The technology applied here uses ultra-fine structures, which are deposited on the chips. In the initial stages, these structures will be 0.35 micrometers wide – far less than one hundredth of the diameter of a human hair. At a later stage, Bosch plans to halve structure width to 0.18 micrometers. Precision such as this makes extremely high demands of manufacturing technology. In addition, MEMS technologies are also to be rolled out in the 200-millimeter wafer fab, manufacturing micromechanical sensors that are used above all in the automobile, but also in cell phones, handhelds, or games consoles. With this move, Bosch is ensuring that it will be able to draw on the most advanced manufacturing technology in this growth market for many years to come.
Reutlingen is where the Bosch Automotive Electronics division is based, and is its most important development and manufacturing site for a large number of electronic components. The site is of great importance within the global manufacturing network as a pilot plant for innovative products such as driver assistance systems. Bosch employs a total of roughly 7,000 associates at three sites in Reutlingen, including 240 apprentices undergoing technical and commercial vocational training.
Photographs relating to semiconductor manufacturing in Reutlingen and to Bosch products featuring microchips are available at www.bosch-presse.de.
The Bosch Group is a leading global manufacturer of automotive and industrial technology, consumer goods, and building technology. In fiscal 2005, some 251,000 associates generated sales of 41.5 billion euros. Set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering,” the Bosch Group today comprises a manufacturing, sales, and after-sales service network of more than 280 subsidiaries and more than 12,000 Bosch service centers in over 140 countries.
The special ownership structure of the Bosch Group guarantees its financial independence and entrepreneurial freedom. It makes it possible for the company to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future, as well as to do justice to its social responsibility in a manner reflective of the spirit and will of its founder. 92 % of the shares of Robert Bosch GmbH are held by the charitable foundation Robert Bosch Stiftung. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG.
Additional information can be accessed at www.bosch.com.
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- Automotive Technology, Automotive Electronics, driver assistance systems
- Bosch Group
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